HBO has recently released its first teaser trailer for the upcoming film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks!
Based on Rebecca Skloot’s 2010 book of the same name, the story of Henrietta Lacks explores the titular character and the immortal cell line that is derived from samples taken from her. The film is directed by George C. Wolfe and stars Oprah Winfrey as Henrietta’s daughter, Deborah. Tony award-winning Renée Elise Goldsberry will portray Henrietta Lacks and Rose Byrne will portray Rebecca Skloot.
In 1951, Lacks underwent a biopsy of her cervix after giving birth. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer and via treatment of a malignant epidermoid carcinoma, the doctors took two samples of her cells: one cancerous and the other healthy, without her knowledge. These cells became the basis of the cell line known as HeLa and its findings have been used across the world for medical research.
It wasn’t until decades after Lacks’ death at the age of 31 in 1951 that her children and other family members became award of the unethical usage of her cells. Skloot’s book unveiled the controversy behind the medical research and the racial impact it had on the Lacks family, earning a lot of acclaim.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks premieres on HBO Saturday, April 22 at 8 PM.